Man sues Sunwing Airlines over actual champagne problem

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An irate flyer is suing Canadian budget airline Sunwing for serving sparkling wine instead of champagne on a trip to Cuba.

Upon departing from Quebec to island resort Cayo Coco, Daniel Macduff was looking forward to a “champagne vacation” with “champagne service” based on language in the terms of the hospitality package he purchased. He was dismayed when a he was poured a glass of bubbly inferior to the variety that comes from the Champagne region in France. His suit also alleges he was also only offered it on his outbound flight.

Montreal-based lawyer Sébastien Paquette says the point of the suit is not about the quality of wine, but about misleading customers.

“It’s the consumer message behind it,” he has said in a statement.

The airline replied with a statement saying the terms “champagne vacations” and “champagne service” were not used in reference to actual in-flight drinks provided but meant “to denote a level of service in reference to the entire hospitality package.”

Sunwing says it has now dropped the phrase “champagne service” in marketing campaigns, but will still serve sparkling wine to passengers flying south.

The class action lawsuit, which around 1,600 plaintiffs from Quebec have joined according to the National Post, seeks compensation for the price differential between the actual wine served and a glass of champagne. Paquette estimates the difference per glass would be about $2-4.

“You have to go beyond the pettiness of the [wine cost] per head,” Mr. Paquette told the National Post.

Some Twitter users agreed:

Others were less supportive:

Some were surprised:

 

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